We are lucky to have an abundance of gorgeous small towns throughout the state of Wisconsin. From the lakes that we use for fishing and swimming, to exploring culture and art through the many downtowns, Wisconsin is home to so many amazing places to visit! Each time of year brings out the best in many different locations but here we are diving into the top 3 small towns that you are going to want to visit before the summer is over!
In Stevens Point, you won’t run out of things to do during the summer. From exploring the 27-mile Green Circle Trail, to finding your favorite local goods in the downtown shopping area, we can assure that you will find your flavor of fun no matter what! Experience the small town values with big city quality while staying at the Cobblestone Hotel and Suites in downtown Stevens Point.
For the outdoors fanatics, don’t miss the Green Circle Trail. This 27-mile hiking and biking trail is known for the multitude of segments that go through forests, parks, over wetlands and even right along the Wisconsin River in downtown Stevens Point. Along the trail, you can meander through the Stevens Point Sculpture Park to get a taste of the arts and culture scene as well as Schmeeckle Reserve right on the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point’s campus.
In downtown Stevens Point, you can find all different types of fun. Just outside the doors of the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, you can explore the downtown streets that are filled with colorful murals or stop into the many shops and boutiques right along the corridor. If you’re wanting some Stevens Point swag, visit the Stevens Point Area Giftshop and be sure to stop in Agora Local Makers Market to find local made goods from those in the community. In the downtown area, you can find a large variety of restaurants from fine-dining at Father Fats to a laid back bar and grill at Guu’s on Main. Right at the Cobblestone Hotel and Suites, be sure to stop into the Wissota Chophouse. There, indulge in a variety of delicious foods including steaks, sea food, and some of the finest desserts around.
Insiders Tip: Don’t make a stop in Stevens Point without visiting the Main Grain Bakery for some fresh baked goodies. (The Asiago Thyme bread: 10/10!)
And for the craft beverage goers, be sure to check out the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective while venturing out, or enjoy a Wisconsin Craft Beer at the Wissota Chophouse with their 20-tap line up. This collective group of the Stevens Point Area’s craft breweries, wineries, and distillery offer tours and visits. Locations are: Point Brewery, O’so Brewing, Central Waters, Sunset Point Winery, Great Northern Distilling, McZ’s Brew Pub, District 1 Brewing, and Backcountry Brewing.
Venture over to Ripon, Wisconsin where you can find a historic downtown with community celebrations, shopping, cuisine, and natural beauty throughout! If you’re looking for a day filled with outdoor recreation and trails, there is plenty of adventure to be had while visiting. Or, if you’re more so the shopping type… explore the downtown with a large mix of shopping at boutiques, antique shops, clothing and art! Don’t let us forget to mention the local cuisine and all it has to offer! And when you’re looking for a place to stay in Ripon, the Cobblestone Suites is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of your weekend getaway!
Head to downtown Ripon and dive deep into the historic features throughout. If you’re planning for a day filled with shopping, don’t worry because there are a plethora of options to choose from. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Back Porch Gatherings. This shop offers vintage and repurposed home decor that will help you complete the look of your home or business. Or, for our green thumb’s out there be sure to visit the DiG Garden Parties. They specialize in vintage and repurposed container gardens.
Once you’re all shopped out, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine with a must-taste spot being Roadhouse Pizza. There you can dive into the traditional, original thin crust pizza that has been serving the Ripon area since 1980. Top off the day with a stop at the Sweet n Saulty Ice Cream Parlor and choose from over 34 different flavors of Cedar Crest Ice Cream. Top off this trip with a stop at the Vines & Rushes Winery. This local winery focuses on quality wines from Wisconsin grown grapes!
For our outdoor enthusiasts, be sure to check out the local parks for walking and biking. On the Northwestern Trail, you’ll really get intertwined with the wildlife in the area. Keep your eyes peeled… you just might see deer, turkey’s, woodchucks and foxes on the way! South Woods trail, walkers can take their time exploring several paths that go through areas created from glaciers and paths along the creek. About 7 miles from Ripon, you can happen upon Green Lake, Wisconsin’s deepend inland lake that is known for its excellent fishing and great water quality. Bring your bike along and follow the 25-mile scenic path that goes around the entire lake. Other biking paths to explore include: Mascoutin Valley Trail and the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy!
Another great summer location to visit in Wisconsin is the Janesville area. There are a plethora of places for a peaceful stroll along the trails and many ways to get intertwined with their arts and culture scene throughout downtown. Better yet, stay at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in downtown and be right at the helm of all the summer fun to be had in Janesville.
If you didn’t already know, Janesville is known as, ‘Wisconsin’s Great Outside’ making it a perfect location for summer fun! No matter where you are, you will only be minutes from the simple beauty filled throughout Janesville. When visiting with the kiddo’s be sure to check out Riverside Park because this park really does have it all. There are biking and nature trails that you can head out and take a peek at the nature-filled park, but we know the kids will really love the splash pad (especially on those hot summer days!). Or, bring along some sporting goods and have fun at one of their many courts: basketball, tennis, pickleball, horseshoes, sand volleyball, and shuffleboard.
For a bit of a thrilling day, you can catch a show by the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team at the Rock Aqua Jays Stadium (Traxler Park). These are held on Wednesday and Sunday evenings now through Labor Day and you won’t want to miss out! Or calm it down a bit, and check out Skelly’s Farm Market. With seasonal produce, new fun can be had at Skelly’s all year long but in the summer you will definitely want to go out to the strawberry fields and pick them fresh for yourself! There is also a great amount of family activities to explore.
Get intertwined in the arts and culture in Janesville right downtown. Explore the art that fills the walls of downtown with the many murals that have been hand painted right in those locations. If you’d rather shop arts from more than 70 local artisans be sure to find Raven's Wish Gallery. While shopping and seeing, you may want to dabble in making your own art. At The Glass Garden, you will be able to learn how to create your own stained glass masterpiece and browse their selection too!
Well, there you have it! As you can tell, we can't get over these three amazing small towns in Wisconsin… especially during the summertime! Which location do you want to visit first? Or, if you have another favorite…let us know in the comments below!
About Cobblestone Hotels: Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Cobblestone Hotels, LLC prides itself on filling the lodging needs of communities throughout the United States through its select brands. Since its first property opened in Clintonville, Wisconsin in January of 2008, the brand has expanded to more than 160 locations open or under construction, spread across 27 states. With more than 50 locations under development, Cobblestone Hotels is one of the fastest-growing hotel brands in the country. The cohesive approach of community and entrepreneurship provides the catalyst for success.
Kortnee Hass: Digital Media Associate for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.